By Jake Ten
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam last night officiated the opening ceremony of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) for Asean Youth Football Tournament at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas ahead of Brunei Darussalam's first Group B match against Cambodia.
Upon arrival His Majesty was greeted by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, and the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, along with High Level Committee Members of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2012.
His Majesty was accompanied by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Wakeel.
The ceremony began with the national anthem, followed by the opening of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament by His Majesty.
His Majesty was then introduced to the managers, coaches and captains of the participating teams, and the ceremony continued with the presentation of souvenirs to the team managers.
His Majesty then received a pesambah from Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair to conclude the opening ceremony.
The Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, a brainchild of His Majesty, is organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, in cooperation with the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD), with Brunei Darussalam having previously hosted the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy in 2002, 2005 and 2007.
The Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy is aimed at supporting His Majesty's Titah to bring together the best teams in the Southeast Asian region to compete in a football competition and provide exposure of Asean sports to the world. The tournament also provides opportunities for young players to compete overseas and establish a series of networking amongst the participants and hence create a better understanding of different cultures within the Asean community.
- Borneo Bulletin
(26th February 2012)